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Buffalo Bills News - October 19, 2000

Marker Kleinsasser's statistics don't reflect his impact [5:17 AM]
St. Paul Pioneer Press reports: 'To best assess Jim Kleinsasser's contribution to the Vikings this season, gloss right past his statistics. Go straight for Robert Smith's numbers. While Kleinsasser has touched the ball few times this season, the 6-foot-3, 280-pound fullback is clearing the way for Smith, who has three 100-yard rushing games and is fifth in the NFL in rushing yardage. "Fullbacks in the (NFL) just don't carry the ball much, they block and Jimmy is doing a very good job of what he's supposed to be doing," coach Dennis Green said. "I love what he's doing for us."'

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October 18, 2000

Marker Even if Flutie comes through, Bills face end of an era [9:04 PM]
SportsWritersDirect reports: 'The Bills have done as good a job as any team in dealing with the salary cap, but even they may be finally paying the piper for all the good times of the last decade.'

Marker Flutie says he's only filling in until Johnson returns [8:54 PM]
AP reports: 'Although there had been times since when he publicly questioned his demotion, Flutie made every effort to defuse any hint of a quarterback controversy on Wednesday. "I'm the backup and that's the way it is," he said when asked if he might remain the starter.'

Marker Christie puts problems behind him [8:34 PM]
AP reports: 'Christie, who has two children, was going through marital difficulties last year. "I think last year pretty much culminated into a situation where I was pretty miserable," he said. "It was hard to get my mind right for games. But I think at this point it's a lot better."'

Marker Spriggs looks like a keeper at right tackle [9:11 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Coach Wade Phillips said Spriggs will remain a starter at right tackle when the Bills travel to Minnesota Sunday to take on the unbeaten Vikings. "I thought Marcus came in and did a good job for us," Phillips said this week. "He's not perfect yet certainly, and we all got to get better. But he came in and did some good things for us, and I expect him to get better and better as he plays more."'

Marker Homeless get high-powered advocates [9:11 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Homeless people got a boost from Buffalo Bills tight end Jay Riemersma and Mayor Anthony M. Masiello on Tuesday morning at the launch of the Buffalo City Mission's second fall fund-raising campaign. Masiello proclaimed this week Buffalo City Mission Week, as the campaign sets a $1.2 million goal, a $200,000 increase over last year. Riemersma has agreed to be spokesman for the campaign, fueled by the motto "Restore hope, dignity and lives."'

Marker McDaniel stronger on weak side [9:10 AM]
Minneapolis Star Tribune reports: '[Ed McDaniel's] back home, where his heart's always been. Namely at weak-side linebacker -- where he began his career -- after two seasons playing in the middle. Perhaps it's no coincidence that everything else has fallen into place, too. Call it a harmonic convergence. "This is fun, all the way around," McDaniel said.'

Marker Vikings notes [9:08 AM]
Minneapolis Star Tribune reports: 'It has been three seasons and two teams since Vikings guard Corbin Lacina played in Buffalo. But he still knows enough of Bills to be looking forward to Sunday's game. Lacina played in Buffalo from 1994 to '97 before going to Carolina for a season then coming to the Vikings. "It will make it a little more fun out there," Lacina said. "There are a lot of guys I know, guys I practiced against. Look at [defensive end] Phil Hanson and [nose tackle] Ted Washington. And linebacker John Holecek. Those guys are still there, and those are the guys we'll be going against. There will be some trash talking."'

Marker Vikings mix wins, winces [9:07 AM]
St. Paul Pioneer Press reports: 'With an average margin of victory of only about seven points, every game has been in question well into the fourth quarter.'

Marker Burrough aids line's versatility [9:06 AM]
St. Paul Pioneer Press reports: 'The Vikings don't feel they would have effectively been able to move John Randle from defensive tackle to end without the flexibility of John Burrough. And now that nickel-package defensive end Bryce Paup will be out for six weeks with a fracture in his right knee, Burrough's versatility also may save the Vikings a headache. "There's no question, John is versatile, and it has helped us," Vikings defensive line coach Fred vonAppen said. "We feel he can play anywhere on the line and play effectively."'

Marker A painful first [9:05 AM]
St. Paul Pioneer Press reports: 'Defensive end Bryce Paup will be out for six weeks with a fracture in his right knee.'

October 17, 2000

Marker Phillips goes on defense over offense [8:36 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Phillips still stubbornly maintains that while Johnson was hit and sacked too much "it wasn't all the offensive line, certainly." He then pointed out that a "young guy" (probably running back Jonathan Linton) had missed a protection on the game's first sack. But what about all the other hits on Buffalo QBs? It defies logic that the offensive line can't be held accountable, especially since the Bills have rushed for more than 100 yards in only two of six games this season.'

Marker Paup out 6-8 weeks [8:27 PM]
AP reports: 'Minnesota Vikings pass-rushing specialist Bryce Paup is expected to miss six to eight weeks because of a fracture in his right leg.'

Marker Bills top TV ratings [8:25 PM]
AP reports: 'For the sixth straight week in which they've played this season, Bills games have been the most-watched program in Buffalo.'

Marker Flutie is mum about 'promotion' to starter [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The normally accessible Flutie did not make himself available to the media Monday as he was locked away in a room at the Buffalo Bills Fieldhouse studying film. There are a number of ways to look at why Flutie wasn't around to talk about getting his first start since Week 15 of last season. Is there so much concern about facing the unbeaten Minnesota Vikings on Sunday that more film work is needed, or is he so motivated to succeed that he couldn't break away for even a few minutes? Or could it be that Flutie doesn't want to come off as being insensitive about starting at the expense of a fallen teammate? Whatever the case, the job is his. How he handles it will have a huge bearing on how the rest of the Bills' season plays out.'

Marker What, Wade worry? Woes multiplying in spite of win [9:02 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Week after week, the offensive linemen have botched their assignments, leaving Johnson exposed to unimpeded rushers. What Brown seemed to be saying was, we're tired of it. Give us some blocking schemes that don't get abused. Last week, Eric Moulds asked for Joe Pendry's offense to be simplified. It was a clear sign of discontent simmering within the offense. Brown's outburst, which embarrassed the coaching staff in front of 72,000 fans and a TV audience, was a more dramatic cry for help. Phillips can laugh it off all he wants. I doubt Johnson is laughing.'

Marker Wiley, Flowers make change for the better [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'After being held to two sacks in the previous three games, the Bills recorded four in the 27-24 overtime win over San Diego on Sunday. The Bills moved Marcellus Wiley from right defensive end to the left side and put rookie Erik Flowers at right end in the nickel defense. The result was a career-high two sacks for Wiley, while Flowers recorded his first as a pro.'

Marker Buffalo's Doug Flutie presents a new challenge for the Vikings' defense [8:35 AM]
St. Paul Pioneer Press reports: '"Offensively, with Doug Flutie, I think they are going to recommit themselves to running the football," Vikings coach Dennis Green said. "I think Doug likes the running game with the play-action pass. We're going to have to work extremely hard in that area this week."'

Marker Flutie inherits start for Bills [6:12 AM]
D and C reports: 'Should the Bills (3-3) upset the unbeaten Minnesota Vikings (6-0) on the road Sunday, then get past the New York Jets (5-1) at home the following week, and the offense is humming under Flutie, Phillips will be faced with a decision to make, just like he was in 1998. The big difference is that Johnson is much more entrenched as the starter and Flutie could be a salary cap cut after this season anyway.'

Marker It's better late than never, now that Flutie will start [6:10 AM]
D and C reports: 'I also think a one-two punch of Johnson and Flutie could be effective, but we're in the minority. Perhaps Phillips would be more inclined to try it if Flutie does well in his upcoming emergency starting role and Johnson returns 100 percent healthy.'

Marker The Last Word [6:09 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'In some corners, the former Argos star has a reputation as a "me-first" guy, a handle that quickly will be forgotten if he leads his team to a couple of wins, of course. In his defence, he has been dealt some rotten hands by the NFL, both by the Bills and previously the Chicago Bears. Which leads us to the crisis in waiting. What happens if Flutie leads the Bills to victories over the Vikings this Sunday, the New York Jets the following weekend and the New England Patriots after that?'

October 16, 2000

Marker Flutie gets his shot to start [8:34 PM]
AP reports: '"I think I learned my lesson early on. And it's not a factor of Rob gets hurt, it's a factor of it's NFL football and the opportunity will probably be there," Flutie said. "I guess we'll just take it one game at a time. I just have to prepare and get ready."'

Marker Chargers blow 10-point lead in losing seventh straight [3:17 PM]
North County Times reports: 'And while the Chargers hand it to the Bills (3-3) for their fortitude, they also admit this one didn't need to slip away. Not on a day in which Curtis Conway and Jeff Graham each had 100 yards receiving and a touchdown. A day in which the Chargers collected 303 total yards against the NFL's No. 2 defense - first to do so in eight straight contests. A day in which the Chargers were ahead, 24-14, with about 14 minutes to play. "Definitely, we were in the driver's seat," said Rodney Harrison, who tied Seau with a game-high 12 tackles, and added a sack and interception. "We had the momentum, we felt everything was going positive, we had a 10-point lead. It just seemed like things started to fall apart. It's always something - one thing here, one thing there. It seems like that way all the time."'

Marker Chargers come up short on key play [3:15 PM]
North County Times reports: 'It was a third-quarter play designed for the right side. Instead, it went terribly wrong for the Chargers. Faced with a third-and-1 on the Bills 33, the Chargers were primed to put a stake in Buffalo's wings. Ahead 24-14, moving the chains here would seemingly pad a cushion the inconsistent Bills might have a tough time overcoming. But Jermaine Fazande got tossed for a 2-yard loss, coach Mike Riley elected to punt, and before someone could say "Doug Flutie," Buffalo shuffled off with a victory.'

Marker Carney fine, but Riley reluctant to use him [3:14 PM]
North County Times reports: 'It was an obvious question, after Mike Riley elected to punt on Buffalo's 35- and 36-yard lines in Sunday's 27-24 overtime loss to the Bills. Hey John Carney, you're reliable right leg OK? "Yeah," he said. So despite Carney owning the team record with two career-best 54-yard field goals, the Chargers' coach elected to punt on both occasions inside the Buffalo 37. On one, Darren Bennett pinned the Bills in at their 1 - they still scored. On the other - with 2:35 to play; he kicked it into the end zone - they still scored, to tie the game and send it into overtime. On Saturday, the winds were swirling so bad at Ralph Wilson Stadium one wouldn't consider field goals of 52 and 53 yards. Sunday? "We were very, very fortunate wind-wise," said Carney, the second-most accurate kicker in NFL history. "I had a 53-yarder in pregame." But Riley - afraid of a miss and losing the field-position battle - didn't give Carney a chance. "I was ready to go," Carney said. "But at the same time I understand percentages of long-range field goals. Coach Riley said 'punt' right away; he didn't want to give up field position in case something happened." Said Riley: "We did put them down to the 1-yard line, which I thought was great. The second time, we didn't."'

Marker Bills celebrate overtime win against San Diego [1:35 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '"This was a big win," [Steve Christie said], "and we needed it." But will there be enough for a playoff berth?'

Marker Ostroski's TD a lineman's dream [1:33 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'The Bills' second touchdown was bizarre as running back Jonathan Linton fumbled into the end zone when hit by former Buffalo safety Mike Dumas with center Jerry Ostroski recovering. "That's the first touchdown I've scored since I was in sixth grade and caught a long bomb in the backyard," Ostroski said. "All my life I was doomed to be an offensive lineman and not touch the football unless I hiked it. So, scoring today, was pretty cool."'

Marker All Chargers can do is keep on playing hard [1:31 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'When the announcement was made that the San Diego locker room was open after the Chargers 27-24 overtime loss, only two reporters bothered to go in.'

Marker Riley admits musical quarterbacks was mistake [12:12 PM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: 'In breaking his seasonlong routine, Chargers coach Mike Riley didn't wait until the morning after the game to admit he had made a mistake. Instead, he stepped up to a wall of microphones after yesterday's 27-24 overtime loss to the Buffalo Bills and acknowledged his decision to send in backup Moses Moreno to start the second quarter was wrong.'

Marker Coaching errors dig a hole for Chargers [12:10 PM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: '[Chargers' coach Mike Riley's] first mistake was announcing during the week that Jim Harbaugh would start the game, play the first quarter and then give way to Moses Moreno for the second 15 minutes. This isn't Colgate-Canisius. His second mistake was sticking to his decision. Pulling Harbaugh was an error. It was a mistake before Moreno came in and stunk up Ralph Wilson Stadium to such an extent I'm surprised the fans didn't run for Syracuse.'

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09/07 @ Chicago Bears 1:00 pm
09/14 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
09/21 San Diego Chargers 1:00 pm
09/28 @ Houston Texans 1:00 pm
10/05 @ Detroit Lions 1:00 pm
10/12 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
10/19 Minnesota Vikings 1:00 pm
10/26 @ New York Jets 1:00 pm
11/09 Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
11/13 @ Miami Dolphins 8:25 pm
11/23 New York Jets 1:00 pm
11/30 Cleveland Browns 1:00 pm
12/07 @ Denver Broncos 4:05 pm
12/14 Green Bay Packers 1:00 pm
12/21 @ Oakland Raiders 4:25 pm
12/28 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm

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